Options for "expendable income"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by js81, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    OK, so I have a little "expendable income" right now and would like some advice on what to do with it. Its purely expendable; the bills are paid, everything else is good - I can justify buying some kind of new toy. :) Here are some things I've thought of; if you have another/better idea, please let me know! I have about $500-600 I can spend; anything beyond that isn't possible right now.

    1) Back in April I bought a new 13" MBP. However, I really wanted the 15" i5, but settled for the 13". I could sell my 13" and use the money I have to buy the 15".
    2) I used to have an HP Mini netbook; I absolutely LOVED the 10" size, but it was WAY too slow. HP's new Mini 210 has the dual-core Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 7200rpm hard drive. After those upgrades, I can get one of those for just under $500.
    3) I love the iPad - I could get a 16GB wi-fi iPad. BUT... I've never really found a good purpose for it. To me, its a nice toy... but I'd still like to have one! :)
    4) I could build a Hackintosh with a Core i3, 4GB of RAM, etc. To me, tinkering with hardware is fun; but I'm afraid I'd quickly grow bored of it.

    Before anyone suggests them, I already have a large backup drive, 24" LCD, and keyboard/mouse/speakers; also, I've upgraded my internal drive to 640GB - an SSD would be too small and I can't live without my Superdrive (to replace it with a second HD). I'd thought about a memory upgrade, but I really never use beyond about 3GB or so.

    I really can't decide - I wanted the 15" MBP, but now I find my self using my 13" MBP mostly has a desktop connected to the LCD. If I had the HP Mini, I would leave my MBP at home most of the time - a sad life for such a nice notebook. Kind of the same with the iPad... And the Hack idea is good to me, but I'd be 100% ticked if it ever "broke" and I had to use Windows solely.

    What to do, what to do... (lol, glad this ain't a life-threatening situation, huh?) :D
  2. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    You already have a nice laptop, replacing it doesn't really seem like a fun way to spend money. If the 15" would suit your needs better, or you have serious mbp envy, then go for it. The base 15" is already $600 more than the base 13", so I'm not sure how $600 and a used 13" will get you a 15".

    The ipad tends to grow on people. I got mine to use take on vacation but find I use it around the house. And it's so much easier to cart around than a laptop. My 13" is feeling neglected:(
  3. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I'd say option one or two, I'm leaning towards two.

    Personally, I can't bring myself to buy an iPad until it gets Facetime.
  4. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    I do love the 13" size, but to be quite honest it seems a little bit slow at times. Nothing bad, and nothing I can't deal with; it just makes me wonder about where it'll be in a year or two. As for the money, 13's like mine are selling on eBay for $1,000-1100, plus I can get the 15 for $1599.

    I've thought that, too - but then what about my MBP? Isn't that a bit redundant? I've even considered selling my MBP and buying a Mac Mini and the HP Mini.

    I think I like the 15" MBP idea the best, but I don't think it would feel like that much of something "new" for the money. Oh well... :rolleyes:
  5. cheesygrin macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2008
    Well, if the 13" has an external monitor most of time anyway and is fast enough for you, replacing it with the 15" would just serve to make it a bit less portable.

    Buying a netbook seems a shame when you already have a realllly nice macbook that isn't THAT much bigger/heavier.

    The iPad is much the same story as the netbook, only with the extra disadvantage of being even more restricted with programs/power.

    And I think a hackintosh as an off-the-cuff project would quickly become boring and just get in the way. Plus, there's nothing like using OS X where it's MEANT to be used - on a mac. :)

    Sooo.. as boring as it may sound, my advice would be to SAVE your money. Maybe add it to the next lot of expendable income and look at getting something bigger and more worthwhile - like an iMac maybe. :D
  6. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    It seems you have forgotten option number 5. Give the moneys to me.
  7. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    How about selling the macbook and buying mac mini and ipad????

    I would do that. :D
  8. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    I second this :D
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I think you should consider what you like to do in your free time and use the money to maximize your enjoyment in those areas.

    For example, if you find that you want to be able to watch more TV/movies in bed or during your commute, maybe the iPad is a good idea.

    Or, if you use your computer to do things that would be enhanced by a larger screen, consider getting the 15" OR buying an external display.

    If you like to read, consider getting an ebook reader.

    If you like playing games, consider getting some more (or buying supplemental items for games you have).

    If you like music, add to your collection.

    If you like photography, look into lenses or other equipment.

    Or, if you really can't think of anything else to do with your money right now, keep it until you find what you're looking for. That's one of the great things about money. ;)
  10. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Got it... and your address is? ;)

    My whole hold up with getting anything else is I love my portable Mac. Guess I need to write off anything that involves me not having a Macbook of some sort...

    Good point. :D While I love games and photography, I don't really have time for either; it took me 6+ months to complete Bioshock, and I'm lucky if I take any pics other than on vacation, lol. However, I have recently started to learn to play bass guitar (I already play acoustic, some) - maybe I'll look into a better amp...

    Thanks for all the comments/suggestions - I believe I've written off everything except the sell and upgrade to 15" i5. And I may write that off, too; I'm just obsessed with having as fast of machine as possible, but I'm also obsessed with having a laptop. In reality it sounds like I need to just wait and buy an iMac someday...

    In other words it sounds like I won't be doing anything... now. :)
  11. Qusus macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2009
    How has no one said this yet?

    Here's some advice (unfortunately, one that I've failed to adhere to myself quite a few times: don't get caught up in this consumer-driven culture where all the websites and ads and and people and internet forums subconsciously pressure us to feed into the techno-industrial complex.

    We're addicted to getting the newest toy without any tangible purpose other than the fact that it gives us some vestigial sense of happiness. Worst of all, we rationalize these decisions by telling ourselves that this new thing is totally revolutionary and way way better than the junk we have now.

    Look don't get me wrong, I detest the proto-Marxist types that usually spew this stuff, but the simple truth of the matter is that your computer is pretty good now and whatever MB Pro you get to "upgrade" will be insignificant on the greater technological scale; it's not like you're upgrading from PowerBook G4. The only reason you want this new thing is because, like the rest of us, you've been indoctrinated into associating buying **** with fulfillment.

    It's pathetic and ******. Save your disposable income until you can actually use it for some real upgrade in your life. And trust me, those are always around the corner.
  12. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Wow, thanks... totally didn't realize that. I mean, its not like I haven't planned ahead for this and made sure that everything else is in order AND that I'm not spending every last dime I have, just in case something happens (vehicle/appliance breaks down or any other unforeseen circumstance).

    No, I don't need it - yes, I just want it. That's really all there is to it.

    When I bought my 13", I didn't get the 15" because I let my wife talk me out of it. Now I have the opportunity to get what I originally wanted. Of course, I'm only gonna go through with it IF nothing comes up between now and then AND I can get what I want out of mine.
  13. Qusus macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2009
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to lecture you. (I'm not sure if your "thanks" was sarcastic... couldn't quite tell but I assume it was.) The fact that your even asking for advice indicates that you have thought about this in financial terms and are planning ahead. I don't question your fiscal wisdom or security.

    Rather, my point is, like you said: it's just something you want, not something you need. But why do you want it? Probably for the same reason we all want Apple's new gizmo, it gives us some ephemeral sense of fulfillment. And that's really perverse. It's intuitive to assume the things we want are good; naturally, we want to fulfill those wants.

    But in modern societies, sometimes that can be twisted and manipulated so the things we want and actually what other people want us to want. Apple (as much as I love their stuff) is really really good at this at a really subtle subversive level.

    (And again, please don't take it as me lecturing you about this, that's not my intention at all. I just think the subtle manipulation something we should all be more aware of. Peace friend.)

    Edit*** actually, after re-reading your last post it doesn't seem like you were being sarcastic. My apologies if this post is redundant as it seems you got what I was trying to say the first time.
  14. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Not totally sarcastic, but maybe just a little, lol. While I do appreciate the advice, I believe I have decided to "upgrade" to the 15" if I can - my thoughts are that if I'm thinking my 13" is a little slow now, I'll be completely unhappy with it in a year's time and will want to upgrade then anyway. The way I look at it, I can pretty much break even right now and just have to pay the cost of the upgrade between models. I got a really good deal on my 13" when I bought it; the price I can get on eBay, even after fees, is pretty much what I paid for it 4 months ago.

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